Monday 24 September 2012

T2's and MK2 Chopper

Here is me on a rainy Sunday afternoon posing on my bro in law, Vern, MK2 Chopper alongside his matching green bay. Vern was very much an inspiration for us getting into the VW scene, his knowledge tips and enthusiasm has been much appreciated. Vern also has a green VW beach buggy and is restoring a rare MK1 chopper. Vern is a long standing member of the elite New Waves club. His van is featured on their site ( If you need a competitive, reliable and friendly removal firm in the South East you should also check out his business here :  . He wont turn up in his wicked bay but the slightly less cool but practical vans pictured in the rear of the photo above!

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Fifty Shades of Green

I am afraid there is nothing erotic about this post, the bus is often filthy and dirty, but not in that way. Its actually six shades not fiffty, but maybe i will get a few extra hits from people searching for 'mummy porn'!

 I created the image above to act as a 'straw poll' of what shade of green i should paint the bus in. It has to be green now because of the green kente curtains courtesy of my mother in law that will now provide the overall 'theme' for the interior.
After going through the RAL codes i have picked my favourite shades and using photoshop paint bucket have overlayed them on Barbara. Judging from Facebook comments (see below) it looks like RESIDA and PALE are in front. Please take the time to vote on this  Poll in the right hand collum.

Monday 25 June 2012

Fresh Fruit & Rotting VW's : The Allotment Bus

The Allotment bus, loaded up with fresh veg

A great spot for a brew
This years menu

Thursday 14 June 2012

The daily mash takes the P out of camper owners!

This will not happen to you if you get a camper, your more likely to have a relationship with the AA man according to the daily mash

I love the Daily Mash even more after it targets VW Camper owners for a serious satire attack. Loved this line : "Sales manager Tom Logan said: “I’m going to buy a Jamie Oliver van, put a surf board on the top and drive around Cornwall with a terrier with one of those little hankies round his neck. I will definitely pick up an attractive female hitch-hiker in a battered straw hat and have consensual sex with her." Sums up the hopeless optimism of the male camper owner and suggests its replaced the Harley Davidson as the mid life crisis males penis extension on wheels!

Monday 11 June 2012

Alive & V Dubin 2012 : Full Review

Sunset over Suffolk
With the awning up in hurricane conditions, we started to feel that the clouds might clear and the sun shine
The immediate build up to the event was all about the ominous and grim weather reports : was it going to be Alive and V Boggy? Would the event be cancelled like just about every VW Show this year? As we arrived at the site on Friday the omens were not good, but we managed to get the new awning up despite the massive gale blowing outside (No offence to Gale, she's a lovely girl really)
Turn out was impressive, thanks to Jan for the panorama shot
Jimmys Farm is located on the highest point of the Orwell Valley outside Ipswich, which made for great views but made the wind even more ferocious. The first night on site i left my Nephew to go out and party whilst i settled into our new home for the weekend with a good read and chilled Guinness from the fridge. The bus rocked in the wind like i was in a boat, but it was wonderfully cosy and snug and i soon conked out to the sounds of some sweet dub playing out of the bus sound system (Preferable to the Kings Of Leon cover versions being played by the band in the Marquee, sorry not realy rocking my boat guys)
No pictures! Sitting on the throne. The 'Camper Khazi' was a great addition.

The security guys (and dogs) were fearsome!
Because we could actually see the site from our house, my preparation was a little 'half cocked' for the event, so here is a list of what i wish i had brought along in the first place, and couldn't be arsed to drive out and fetch once we arrived :

1. Food. Veggie food options were limited from on site caterers and so was cash to pay for it.
2. Utensils to cook the food we did bring. 
3. An extra sleeping bag, for when we had to put up extra people on the Saturday night. Guess who got to sleep under the dog blanket from the back of the car?
4. Some more Guinness.
5. My hairbrush (Even more bad hair days than usual)
6.More Guinness.
7. My new fire pit that i picked up the day before the event.

Saturday turned out to be much better weather and by Sunday it was truly glorious and my bare, ghostly white chest even went on display as i ate breakfast on the Sunday morning (No pics of this I'm afraid ladies, this is not that sort of website)

It was great meeting old and new friends alike, it was cool meeting Barbara's old owners from Essex who now own a really cool Karman Gypsy (A big version of the T25, and quite rare) They were so pleased to see 'Shelia'(Their name for her) again, and if the bus had a soul it must have felt very loved that day.

Well enough of my blithering, it was a great weekend and here are some more pics that capture the flavour of the event :

Skanking away to the old school Ska tunes of 'The Downsetters'
Morning stretch : The dog loved her perch over the engine bay
My personal favourite, a converted Belgium Army bay. Would love to see the MOT inspectors reaction when this goes in for its test.

Right On! Yours for £14000. Love the Joe Stummer stencil on the front.
At a little short of £600, the price of old Choppers has inflated slightly
A tasty chocolate bug in show n' shine
Where have the wheels gone?
Purple haze, all in my brain
Everthing but the kitchen sink on the roof rack!
Happy customers at the camper canteen
Who's riding shotgun? Dont get into an argument if your stuck behind these guys!
Yellow peril, where's the engine then?
The grass is always greener in someone elses bus. Love the Mexican 'day of the dead' curtains and cushions
I defy anybody not to be impressed with the level of detail on this 'rat look' golf
Chillin' at base camp after a hard days drooling over buses and bugs

Thanks to Brian for posting this ariel shot of the site

Friday 1 June 2012

Sexist VDub adverts

Kind of ironic seeing how much the ladies love a VW that the Madison Avenue boys marketed the transporter in such a misogynist manner. Got love the 'Can she get a kids leg stitched (child neglect?) and not phone you at the office (screwing the secretary?)  till its over. Got these from a post at but kind find the link right now.

I beat up a hippy and all i got was this old bus and other stickers

Getting busy with the craft knife with the home made stickers(and stencil)
Most ratty old VW's have a fine collection of stickers/decals/graphics plastered over them, and I decided I would slap a few on Barbara but wanted to save money and get totally unique designs by making them myself (See picture above) using 'Crafty Computer Paper' self print sticker kit.

These sheets are quite easy to use and give good results. You print of your image in colour or B&W on any computer paper, and then cover your design (Which you can trim with a craft knife to get the look like the 'Aircooled' and 'Dubway' decals above) in the sheets that then can be stuck to the inside of your car/bus windscreen.  

I have not done the legend ' I beat up a hippy...' mentioned above or the 'Keep Calm, Carry a Spare' I saw on a ratty split recently.

The classic 'Nuclear Power No Thanks' sticker is in Gaelic (Irish)

The Shepard Fariey classic 'OBEY and Angela Davis' graffiti art

Thursday 31 May 2012

Has my bus been Banksy-ied?

Has the mystery superstar graffiti artist tagged my bus with one of his trade mark rat stencils?

Can i now sell my bus to Angelina and Brad for a cool million, actually they could just take the engine lid its sprayed on as you can see the rust coming back through where i filled it not two months ago.

Or perhaps its an inside job, perhaps the fact it is sprayed in the exact same shade of halfords cheapest primer as on other bits of the bus give away it as a forgery? You decide.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

240v Electrics, Inverters and Relays

Loads of space for a second Battery installed with the Lucas 35amp relay (blue box) That engine bay could do with a clean.
I am never going to be running a plasma TV or Xbox in the bus but thought it essential we have a 240v socket for mobile phone/sat nav charging on the move. I thought i would need a 'Leisure' battery that holds a charge longer than a normal car battery, however asking all the bus owners i know was confident that a second hand car battery would do the trick for my less demanding power needs.

300w Inverter mounted under the bench seats
 So a second hand Bosch battery (£15 on ebay) a 35Amp Lucas relay (£10, ebay) and a 300w Inverter from Maplins (with USB input) was all i needed. I ran the power leads to the inverter behind the rear bench seats and through the drain plug under the spare wheel mount into the engine bay.

That was easy enough but i was not to keen on frying things installing it myself so took it to Eastern Auto Spares in Nacton Ipswich who wired it all in and put in additional fuses to prevent overloading.

We now have a USB powered bus!

Monday 28 May 2012


Today we got the new curtains back and Naomi from Suffolk Bugrs did a great job with the Kente material, all the way from Ghana courtesy of mummy.

Naomi informed us on getting the material that there was only enough to do some of the curtains, and because of the thin nature of the material we were best to have the pattern on the inside of the bus. After i died the existing curtains with two packs of Dylon dark green fabric dye i felt more confident about a crucial element of the buses look. We could have had  them reversable or cover the outside with more material later (would have to pop over to Accra however and hope we could find the same shop/supplier)but i am delighted with the overall effect and at least the pattern will not be as prone to sun damage on the inside.

Have enough material left to do the top of the sink cover and two lap cushions, and then we plan to recover all the rear seating in dark green vinyl eventually, probably after Naomi has recovered from organising the Alive & V Dubin event.

All covered and tucked in for the night!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Bus Envy

Had to post this snap of my neighbour, Martin, and his lush '65 (?) Splittie that he has lovingly restored. Of course i suffer from slight bus envy, but that's outweighed by having such a knowledgeable and helpful mate on the street. It has to inspire you when you are getting fed up scraping off paint and wrestling with bodywork, to see Martin cruise by; although it makes me laugh when he is so critical of his bus, pointing out that this line is not straight, and that patch of paint is slightly discoloured. I guess that's the curse of having such a pristine bus, you have to keep it up. If you notice he keeps his distance when passing the old cheese grater!

Monday 21 May 2012

Cruise Meet : Jimmy's Farm Ipswich to Felixtowe

It was a great day, my first mass VW cruise, so impressed with the turnout (must of been over a hundred VW's of all shapes and sizes) and got such a buzz driving in a massive convoy and bringing Felixtowe to a standstill (Not hard as some argue its been at a standstill since at least 1950, one of my favourite sayings is Harwich for the continent, Felixtowe for the incontinent!)

Check out the shaky cam video of the event :

We met at Jimmys Farm just outside Ips' at 11:30 straight of our first night camping in Wickham Market ( )
Jimmys Farm is the site of this years Alive & V Dubbin event organised by our club the Suffolk Bugrs so it was a great opportunity to see the lay of the land. No sign of Jamie Olivers mate, Jimmy himself, who is apparently into the scene; but its a no brainer that his rare breed farm is a top location for the event.

Spot the minger in the line up! Barbara did us proud however and their were plenty of other battered bays